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It may surprise you to discover that mental exercises work just like physical exercises.
You can build mental muscles that help you perform routines and help you do them better the more often you do them.
However, these mental muscles also atrophy if they are not used, just like physical muscles.
If you have decided that you want to become more mindful, it will help you a lot to do Mindfulness meditation exercises regularly to exercise these mental muscles and keep them in shape.
Mindful meditation exercises are amongst the best activities you can do for this purpose.
In this article, I explore three exercises you can regularly do to keep your mindfulness muscles “in shape.”
PS If you haven’t time to read this article in full, check out my favorite mindfulness program, 7 Minute Mindfulness, here.
It’s a suite of ten audios of seven minutes or so that I find can really get into your head and slow you down. It also gives a guidebook, a set of mindfulness exercises, and some other goodies, all for a surprisingly economical price. I really can’t praise it enough.
Click here to read my review of it here on my site.
Find a quiet, comfortable place. Sit cross-legged on the floor if you can, and take a few deep breaths to calm your mind and body.
Begin to notice everything that is going on around you and within you. Notice all the thoughts and physical sensations flowing through your body.
Pay attention to your surroundings. What do you hear? Do you smell? Notice everything you can while maintaining your deep breathing. Do this for 2-5 minutes, and then go about your day.
It may help you if you set a timer on your phone to let you know when the time is up.
Body Scan meditation
You can start this meditation by lying down in a quiet place where you know you won’t be disturbed.
Start the meditation process by taking a few deep breaths, which will help you calm down in itself.
Now slowly and consciously scan your body from your head to your toes, noticing everything that goes through your mind, every thought, feeling, and sensation.
Think about your head. How does it feel? What about your neck and shoulders? Do you notice any tension or pain there when you focus on them? And so on down to your toes.
Get the most from the exercise by paying attention to how parts of your body feel as you consciously scan and think about them and actively think about how they make you feel.
Notice anything that makes you uncomfortable or bothers you, any points of tension, and save them for later.
When you finish the scan, take a few moments to re-orient yourself to the present, take a few more deep breaths and stand up.
If you need any help with this, one of my favourite mindfulness resources, 7 Minute Mindfulness, has a fantastic body scan session as it’s very first session.
I can’t tell you how relaxed and better listening to it makes me feel. It’s amazing how much better you can feel in just 7 minutes and 48 seconds when you are guided through the process!
Click here to find out more about 7 Minute Mindfulness.
This mindful meditation is exactly as described!
You can do it by simply walking mindfully for 10-20 minutes, breathing deeply during the walk to get plenty of fresh air into your lungs.
Walking in a calm and peaceful environment such as a park is obviously more beneficial. You don’t want to ruin the process by getting stressed by other people bumping into you on a busy street. Or find yourself distracted by noisy and smelly traffic.
While walking, all you need to do is pay attention to your thoughts, the sensations flowing through your body, the feeling of the ground beneath your feet, and your surroundings.
What comes to mind as you walk? Do you think about problems or relax and let your mind wander? You could problem solve by working through some options as you walk.
Notice your environment. What is the weather doing? Is it hot or cold? Can you feel the wind? What noises surround you? Birdsong, kids playing?
Notice the ground beneath your feet. Is it smooth tarmac or bumpy, uneven ground? Do you have to pay attention and balance your feet as you walk to avoid falling or tripping up?
Try to take everything in in as relaxed a manner as possible.
If you don’t have a park or sidewalk available for this exercise, don’t worry. You can also do this mindfulness exercise by walking back and forth in a designated area at least ten feet wide, but wider than ten feet is better.
Read my more detailed article on Walking Meditations here.
How Often should you do these Mindful Meditation Exercises?
You might be wondering how often you should do these exercises? You should do one or more of these exercises as often as possible, but at least one of them once a week.
Ideally, if you can manage to fit them into your schedule, you should do at least one of these exercises three times a week. If you can do two or three of these exercises several times a week, that’s even better.
You get the idea! As often as you can, fit one of these mindful meditation exercises into your routine.
7 Minute Mindfulness
As you may have guessed by now, I really love this Mindfulness program!
Click the image to find out more from the producer of the program or read my review here.
In summary, practicing mindful meditation exercises on a regular basis can have a massive benefit to your mental health.
Doing them often will slow you down in this fast paced world and ground you again. It will relax and recharge your mind, ease stress and bring perspective back.
If you think it would motivate you to do it more if you had a guided resource, check out 7 Minute Mindfulness here. I assure you you won’t be disappointed.
I hope you found this article on mindful meditation exercises useful and helpful. If you did, please consider leaving a comment or liking the binauralbeatsguru facebook page. I’d love to hear what you thought.